In an age of twenty-four hour a day news networks that constantly reflect that we are in the midst of a major environmental disaster, multiple ongoing wars, and the worst economic crisis of our time, it is hard not to become a little paranoid or to begin thinking that the end of the world near. With this in mind it is no wonder that artists have begun to address these issues in increasingly direct ways.
Artist Chad Person is presenting an exhibition titled, Surviving the End of Your World, currently on view at Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station. For the exhibition, the artist is presenting works from his RECESS series (Resource.Exhaustion.Crisis.Evacuation.Safety.Shelter), which is essentially the remodeling of the artist’s home into conceptually sound environment that revolves entirely around survival. Items in RECESS include a converted pool that now acts an operating bunker, a makeshift Double Barrel Shotgun, Modular Rain Barrels, Recycled Solar Oven, Golf Ball Cannon, and Signal Flags among several other objects. Within the context of the gallery these items become art objects loaded with cultural meaning.
The artist has also completed a series of collages which feature war related objects used by the US military, such as planes, helicopters, tanks and ships. These flat works are created through the meticulous deconstruction of US currency. Person actually deducts the money used to create the works from his taxes, potentially refusing to contribute to the war efforts through paying additional taxes. This is a logic that is essentially flawed, but which does make a potent statement.
In the main section of the gallery, the artist presents two large inflatables, which dominate the space. Upon entering the gallery, the viewer comes across a large inflatable of the Mobil Oil Pegasus, lying on its side in a shallow pool of oil. This creature is followed by another large inflatable sculpture, this time of the McDonald’s character Mayor McCheese, who has lost his political stature and is now slumped into a corner. The figure dissolves into a metaphor for all political leaders who have failed in their vain attempt to better the world.
Chad Person lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The artist is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and has exhibited extensively in Southwest. Surviving the End of Your World marks his first solo exhibition with Mark Moore Gallery, and will be on view through August 14th, 2010.